Tag: Monopoly and Antitrust

Muckraker or Special Pleader? »

In “A Brief History of Media Muckraking”, the Wall Street Journal’s Amanda Foreman traces the contributions of “reform-minded journalists from Ida Tarbell to [Bob] Woodward” and a few others who spilled newspaper ink writing about abuses of power by the private and the public sector. Obviously a fan of the progress made during the...
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Bork on Antitrust »

Following up Carl’s post, while Bork is remembered largely as a Constitutional scholar, his important early contributions dealt with antitrust. He was sharply critical of the modern application of US antitrust law, while remaining wedded to the Knight-Friedman-Stigler idea of perfect competition as a welfare benchmark, leading to a number of confusions and contradictions....
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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The High Cost of Solar »

Residents of Hawaii were dismayed to see this recent front-page headline: “Hawaii Solar Savings Spark Higher Electric Bills.” Since so many consumers have sought electrical savings from installing solar panels, the state-monopoly electric utility is losing revenue and now needs to make it up in higher rates. At least Hawaii’s perennially sunny weather will...
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France Fines Google: Is Atlas Shrugging? »

In Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged, published in 1957, businesses push government to pass law after law that aids weaker businesses by penalizing successful ones. There’s the “Anti-Dog-Eat-Dog Rule” to prevent destructive competition among firms in an industry, and the “Equalization of Opportunity Bill” that limits the number of businesses one person can own....
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Nobel Laureate Economist Ronald Coase Turns 101 »

On December 29th, the world-renowned economist Ronald H. Coase celebrated in Chicago his 101st birthday. Professor Coase received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1991, and he is the Clifton R. Musser Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Chicago Law School and the former, highly influential editor of the prestigious Journal...
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Beyond Politics Exposes the Roots of Government Failure »

Economic “stimulus” packages that don’t revive the economy and that increase federal deficits and undermine private investment and job growth? Check. Laws meant to protect endangered species but which incentivize landowners who have them on their property to “shoot, shovel, and shut-up”? Check. Anti-poverty programs that foster dependency and hinder participation in the job...
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Justice Done in Louisiana! Whuda Thunk? »

In a shockingly unusual turn of events, a federal court in Louisiana has reached a just decision. This man-bites-dog decision involves my neighbors, the Benedictine brothers of St. Joseph Abbey and Seminary, about whose difficulties I wrote recently. The Louisiana funeral directors’ cartel was attempting to shut down the monks’ sale of the simple...
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Heaven Help Us All: TSA Union Vote Ends Today »

It’s not a question of “If,” but “Which” union TSA employees will soon use as their armed representative against taxpayers and as protection against travelers who haven’t yet fully resigned themselves to treatment worthy of the Gestapo or KGB. From the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) “Welcome TSA Employees” web page urging TSA employees...
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A Conversation about Gasoline Prices »

According to yesterday’s weekly federal report, This Week in Petroleum, the average price of regular gasoline is up to $3.96 per gallon, just 15 cents shy of its July 2008 peak. A friend writes: So I’m deciding to ask an economist. It appears to me that the oil companies are really just gouging the...
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Felonious Massage »

The Wall Street Journal reports that the State of Michigan will soon make practicing massage without a license a felony. In the age of Yelp, why the explosion of state licensure? After all, if a masseuse is no good, word will soon get around, and it’s difficult to comprehend, in any event, just how...
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